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A Field in New Hope

Often life’s trails take us on paths that are haphazard and we pass through places that are event-less – never to be remembered.   Other times we are taken to places that our hearts remember forever.  As a young man I relocated to a town called New Hope in Arkansas and as every summer in my life progresses it seems as my mind increasingly drifts towards those memories of her.  The following piece of prose was written with one of those memories in mind.   It is dedicated to all those from New Hope that I love and who have loved me….


As a young man I was foolish and had not yet engaged a rudder upon my life. But I knew that if there were any hope to be had then only New Hope had my heart, for within her once laid the boundaries of all things near and dearest to my desires and then only she held the key to my entire world.  But she never knew that.


The Arkansas pine flowed over me, its sweet smell coursed through my small self like the moonlight passes through the night.  The unkempt field before me – which was lit only by the wee stars above -laid motionless as I looked upon her simple yet great majesty.  It gave cause for my mind to stumble for she had been here thousands of years before I and here she shall endure long after I will not.


Her simplicity is in the notion that I can tread upon her, or put seed within her to bring up life – and bring prosperity within my own lifetime. Or perhaps even build a grand structure upon her that many from far away might come to gaze upon and awe in the things that we – as man – can achieve.


..but her majesty stands much taller than that.  For in a thousand years nature shall reclaim her and bring her back into her simplest form and our lives will be long forgotten.  If God gave her feelings then our entire lives upon her would have been nothing more than an itch to her. 

And now as a much older man looking back on that cool early summer eve – as I once crouched behind that old barbed-wire fence brush gazing upon that field – cupping my lit cigarette as to hide myself from fate, I know that it was just a young man’s folly:  for fate will always find you.  And as I lay now old and withered upon a different home on a different land I’ve come to realize that it is my own heart that shall lay barren and unkempt forever as her simple beauty thrives on.  But I will always endear that moment -that beautiful starlit night- that we once shared as fate called my name.

© 2013 John Richter